May 31 I Sunday
2 Chronicles 13-14
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” —Romans 8:1-2
After America abolished slavery in January 1863, someone asked an Alabama slave what he thought of President Abraham Lincoln’s executive order. The slave replied, “I don’t know nothing about Abraham Lincoln, except they say he set us free, and I don’t know nothing about that either.” Even though American slaves were legally free, most of them continued to live in slavery for years. They were free men and women in the eyes of the law, but they were still slaves in experience.
The sad reality is that many Christians feel the same way about their Christian lives. They feel a discrepancy between their position before God and their experience of that position. Scripture makes clear that because of Christ’s death and resurrection we are justified, declared righteous before God and no longer live under condemnation for our sins. Even though we have been freed from our slavery to sin, many of us still live as if sin is our master. Perhaps this is because we misunderstand the work, ministry and enabling of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus did not come into this world simply to clean us up. Having our sins forgiven is a marvellous and relieving experience, but this was not Christ’s purpose in coming to earth, but a consequence of our believing in Him. The whole point of forgiving and cleansing us is so we can become the dwelling place and workshop of His Holy Spirit to operate in and through us. As we listen to the Holy Spirit’s prodding and align our thoughts with God’s will, we will begin to live according to the position of liberty, which the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross made possible.
Paul explains we are set free from the law of sin and death. This law of sin is a natural law, one that will constantly try to pull us down, just as gravity pulls us down, but the Holy Spirit sets us free from this law, so we do not need to fear condemnation for our sins. As we allow Christ to work in us, He will change our perspective so that rules written on tablets of stone become promises written on our hearts.
Since the Day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit indwells us when we profess faith in Jesus. The purpose of the Holy Spirit living in us is that we begin to fulfill the law of God. The law reflects God’s character, and one of the first indications that the Spirit is at work in our lives is a hunger for righteousness. We are no longer slaves to sin, instead we are not only freed but empowered by the indwelling presence of Christ to live as God intended.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for Your indwelling Spirit. I am grateful for the freedom from sin that comes from surrendering to You. Amen!